An important obstacle to adoption of clean energy technologies is energy storage. Green generation from wind and solar may be intermittent and peak demand can coincide with reduced output. The focus of this project is development of novel nanostructured electrode materials tailored to enhance energy storage performance in supercapacitors and batteries.
Two-dimensional materials such as graphene can be regarded as ‘all surface’, making them attractive for applications demanding high specific surface areas, including electrode materials in supercapacitors and batteries. However, high-density energy storage requires careful control of nanoscale architecture to ensure that pore sizes allow access for ionic species and that charge is conducted to/from active surfaces efficiently. In this project, two dimensional materials will be combined with zero and one-dimensional solids (quantum dots and carbon nanotubes) to create appropriately structured scaffolds, optimise performance and introduce new functionality. Nanomaterials will be produced, thoroughly characterised with a spectrum of analytical techniques and incorporated into novel hierarchically structured electrodes tailored for specific applications. Electrodes will be structurally characterised and incorporated into cells for evaluation. Use of multiple materials opens possibilities of developing new functionality, such as combined supercapacitor/battery (supercapattery) behaviour.
The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2019.
For this project you must apply through the Durham University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please navigate to https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/
and select ‘Apply now’ followed by ‘Apply for postgraduate study.’ When completing your application, please ensure that you note that you are applying for the appropriate ReNU project by completing the application fields as follows:
• Select ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Have you been in contact with a potential supervisor?’
• Complete the ‘intended supervisor’s name’ with ReNU/Hunt
• Complete Physics as the Department
• Select ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Have you applied, or are you going to apply for a scholarship?
• Select ‘other’ from the drop-down list under, ‘Please indicate which scholarship you have applied for’
• Complete ‘Please enter the name of the Scholarship you have applied for or will be applying for’ with ReNU/Hunt
Note that it is not necessary to include a research proposal as part of your application.
The application closing date is Friday 8th March and it is planned that interviews will take place on the week of the 18th March.
Applicants are normally expected to have one of:
• A minimum of an upper second class honours degree from a 4-year integrated Masters undergraduate course in Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry or a related subject.
• A 3-year undergraduate Bachelors in one of the above disciplines plus a Masters degree and/or one year experience in a relevant industry.
We particularly encourage UK applications from those traditionally under-represented in STEM subjects, such as women and mature students.